Home | People |

Lorena Oropeza


  • Ph.D., History, Cornell University, 1996
  • M.A., History, Cornell University, 1992
  • B.A., Journalism, University of Arizona, 1986


Lorena Oropeza studies people who during the 1960s raised hell because they wanted to stop a war, or fight racial injustice, or overthrown patriarchy. She was attracted to history as a field because, like those 1960s activists, she wishes to harness the subversive potential of history to interrogate received wisdom. A professor of history at the University of California, Davis, she is the author of The King of Adobe: Reies López Tijerina, Lost Prophet of the Chicano Movement about a Chicano movement leader who rewrote our understanding of the American West. She is also the author of ¡Raza Sí! ¡Guerra No!: Chicano Protest and Patriotism During the Viet Nam War Era that traces how and why Chicano movement participants came to contest American empire at home and abroad. An anthology that she co-edited, Enriqueta Vasquez and the Chicano Movement: Writings from El Grito del Norte, showcases the collected works of a leading Chicana feminist and theorist. In 2017, Oropeza received the American Historical Association Equity Award for her efforts to make the historical profession a more diverse and inclusive place.

Research Focus

U.S. race and empire; Mexican American/Chicanx History; 1960s social protest; oral history; U.S. gender and empire.

Selected Publications

  • Oropeza, L., The King of Adobe: Reies López Tijerina, Lost Prophet of
    the Chicano Movement, University of North Carolina Press, 2019.
  • Oropeza, L., (2018) "Women, Gender, Migration, and Modern U.S.
    Imperialism," in Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor and Lisa G. Materson (Eds.), The
    Oxford Handbook of American Women's and Gender History, Oxford University
  • Oropeza, L. (2013) "Fighting on Two Fronts: Latinos and the U.S. Military,"
    in Steve Pitti (Ed.), American Latinos and the Making of the United
    States, National Park Service.
  • Oropeza, L. & Espinoza, D. (Eds.) (2006) Enriqueta Vasquez and the Chicano
    Movement: Writings from El Grito del Norte, Arte Público Press.
  • Oropeza, L. (2005) ¡Raza Sí! ¡Guerra No!: Chicano Protest and Patriotism
    During the Viet Nam War Era, University of California Press.


Undergraduate and graduate classes on twentieth-century U.S. history, Chicanx/Latinx History, oral history, and the history of U.S. Empire, including a co-taught course on the United States in the Middle East.